Northwest Fire District firefighters were called to the Cantera Apartments located at 3500 W. Orange Grove just after 4:00pm when residents of building 23 smelled smoke, looked outside their door and notices the apartment across from them was on fire.

Crews arrived with 5 minutes to find an upstairs apartment with smoke and flames showing. 2 crews were assigned to the interior of the apartment with several hose lines, a crew laddered the building to make access to roof to assist with ventilation of smoke from the apartment and additional crews assisted in the evacuation of the remaining occupants from within the building.

A total of 23 firefighters manning 6 pieces of apparatus were at the scene and brought the fire under control within 10 minutes of the arrival of the first truck. One of the crews that entered the fire apartment was tasked with searching for any trapped victims. The crews found no occupants within the apartment however did locate and remove two cats that were pronounced dead at the scene.

A family of 4 was away at the time of the fire but arrived shortly after being notified of the incident by neighbors.

A couple and their two children were displaced due to damages. The downstairs apartment below the fire was also damaged with smoke. The couple living in the downstairs apartment was also displaced for the night due to the smoke.

The Northwest Fire District’s Community Assistance Program and the Southern Arizona chapter of the Red Cross will be helping the family with lodging and household needs. The apartment complex will be housing the couple from downstairs in a model unit for the night.

Northwest Fire District investigators at the scene have determined the fire to be accidental as a result of an electrical problem within the apartment. Damages were estimated to be approximately $10,000.

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